Letter: Give me compassionate freedom at my life's end
As a retired nurse and as a son who watched is mother die, I have seen suffering at the end of life.
I support the END OF LIFE DECISIONS BILL similar to the bills passed in Oregon, California, Montana and Vermont.
The bill gives the dying the option of living their life until death occurs or taking oral medication to end their life peacefully at a time of their own choosing.
It requires two physicians to concur that the patient is terminal and has six months or less to live.
Counseling is required on all alternatives: (hospice, palliative care and pain management.) It prohibits lethal injection, mercy killing and euthanasia.
Multiple requests by the patient, separated by a 15 day waiting period and a patient written request signed by 2 witnesses is required. Any health care provider who is opposed on religious or moral grounds DOES NOT have to participate. The end of life medication must be orally self administered by the dying patient.
Control is taken away from the government and given over to the dying individual.
Once prescribed the medication, most patients do not take it but are comforted by having the OPTION of determining their own fate.
Hospice provides a wonderful service and works very hard to keep the dying comfortable but nature sometimes overwhelms their efforts and suffering can still occur at life's end.
Some of the dying will choose to live until nature claims them and others will choose the time and place of a peaceful death. I don't know what I will choose when I am dying, but I would like the option of choosing either.
That would truly give me a compassionate freedom at my life's end.